It's important to get this right and it is a case of context. This passage is usually interpreted as Soul Winning.. but is it? We do NOT understand this passage and therefore interpret it badly...
Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus *said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them: “See that no one knows about this!” 31 But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout all that land.
32 As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. 33 After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”
35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.
36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He *said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
When you read the whole of the text in context, if we look to Jesus as example, what is it that the Lord of the Harvest expects his workers to be engaged in when they are sent out INTO HIS Harvest? This is NOT about soul winning. It's about something else. When I hear the words "Soul Winning" I hear an appeal to bring your neighbors to become members of the church. Empire building.
Is that what Jesus was doing in this context?
Jesus admonition to the 72 was to:
Matthew 10:7-9 And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. 9"Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,…
Jesus never commissioned anybody to preach without also commissioning them to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers and raise the dead in the same breath.
I believe much of what we see today in our western expression of Christianity is simply preaching to draw a crowd, get them to make some sort of commitment for salvation that leads them to commit to the church the preacher is shepherd over. There then is formed a link that says to stay saved you need to keep coming back.
Yet if we look at the passage, there doesn't appear to be any emphasis on soul winning as an end unto itself, but on ministering to people in ways they need ministry and the soul winning is a natural outcome. I am more and more convinced that OVERT soul winning that we see so much is not what the author of our souls intended.
We have this backwards. We spend so much of our time getting people to repent that we fail to do the things that cause them to come to repentance.
A prophetic word, a word of knowledge, healing ministry, working of miracles, supernatural faith, Discernment of demonic oppression and those demons cast out, Tongues and the interpretations of tongues - those offered to people oppressed of the devil who are in need of a breakthrough will result in souls coming to Christ. 1 Corinthians 14 speaks of how this works. V 24-25 flesh it out:
24 But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all,25 and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"
But even that is a misnomer in a soft way. Christ comes to us by Holy Spirit. We are wooed and won by His love towards us and we begin to fall in line with his purposes in us. We become like Him.
It is His compassion on all that sets us on a course of wholeness in HIM. ONLY ONE verse in the Bible says anything about Soul Winning. Proverbs 11:30 and it has more to say about living in front of others in a righteous manner that wins souls than it does the overt things we do to make it happen.
I know this is controversial, but we are so busy trying to build our churches under the guise of soul winning that we no longer do the stuff that Jesus commanded us to do.
As Keith Green once sang, "You just keep doing your best and I'll take care of the rest". He does. Be bold and just do the stuff. Souls won for Jesus will be automatic.